Syrian Sunni Muslim Thanks Israel
A Syrian girl at the Atma Refugee Camp in Turkey, which hosts over
10,000 refugees. (Photo by IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation)
“Show me the wonders of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes.” (Psalm 17:7)
In honor of the Israelis that have been extending help to the Syrian people harmed during their nation’s civil war or displaced from their war-torn country, Sunni Muslim Aboud Dandachi has launched a Facebook page and website called “Thank You Am Israel.”
Dandachi, a displaced Syrian national now residing in Turkey, says that he launched his website “in appreciation of the assistance given to Syrian refugees by Israeli and Jewish organizations and individuals.”
“Every humanitarian catastrophe is also an opportunity for individuals to display the best of humanity, and as a Syrian refugee myself I can truly attest to the fact that this generation of Jews have done their people proud,” Dandachi wrote on a January 25th blog post.
“The day will come when the conflict in Syria will come to an end, as all things come to an end. On that day, it is imperative that Syrians reciprocate the enormous goodwill shown towards us by Israelis and the Jewish people.” (Emphasis provided by Dandachi)
“While thousands of Syrians languish on the borders of neighboring countries, Israeli medical teams and hospitals have been tireless and unstinting in treating Syrians in need,” Dandachi writes, adding, “As a Syrian, I am morally obligated to ensure that the goodwill that Israelis and Jews have displayed towards my people will not be overlooked nor forgotten.”
“I remember my own astonishment when the first news reports began to circulate of the assistance being provided to wounded Syrians by the IDF’s [Israel Defense Forces] medical teams on the Golan,” Dandachi says. “As the years have gone by, my amazement has not lessened with every act of charity and compassion by the Jewish people to my own: Israeli high schools providing collections of winter clothes; IsraAID volunteers on the ground and beaches in Greece and the Balkans,” he writes.
“I will never forget the phone conversations I had with elderly Syrians being treated at a northern Israeli hospital, of the stories I heard of the world-class limb replacement and cancer treatment that Israeli medical staff were providing.”
“A people [am in Hebrew], who I had been told all my life I was at war with, were proving themselves more humane and more compassionate than the Arab countries I, as a Syrian, was no longer welcome in,” Dandachi writes.
Non-profit Israeli group IsraAID has identified Syria’s civil war as “one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises” since it began in 2011, “with over 4 million displaced within Syria and more than 2 million refugees fleeing the violence into neighboring countries.” Only half of these have registered as refugees, according to the NGO.
IsraAID reports having helped more than 7,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan, providing them with more than 10 tons of humanitarian aid that include hygiene kits, emergency supplies, baby slings, and basic medical and psychosocial support.
“We are also conducting needs assessments on the need for trauma assistance, and the support of child friendly spaces / women shelters,” the group’s project summary in Jordan states.
In September 2015, IsraAID also began deploying workers to assist in the arrival of exhausted “boat people” — refugees that have piled into small boats, such as rubber dinghies, to escape the Middle East via the Mediterranean Sea. IsraAID volunteers even rescue refugees when their boats overturn.
Seeking asylum in Europe, these boatloads of people have arrived at the shores of the island of Lesbos, Greece. Home to 85,000 Greeks, the island has filtered more than half a million refugees into Europe.
Hadassah Magazine last week called the island “a setting for ironic twists of fate — like the one in which a 2-year-old from Syria is welcomed to European soil by a man from Israel.” In Lesbos, more than 60 Israelis, both Jewish and Arab, have volunteered on the island with IsraAID to assist arriving refugees.
“IsraAID [has] subsequently expanded its work to locations where refugees were being re-routed, on the Croatia side of the Serbian border, in several transit points, train and bus stations as well as in ad hoc camps that sprung up,” reported Abigail Klein Leichman for Israel21c.
“At its peak, IsraAID was among the first agencies providing relief to over 11,000 refugees crossing from Serbia into Croatia in under 24 hours."
Iran to Pay Palestinian Families of Killed Terrorists
Shlomit Krigman, 23, was killed on January 25 when assailants stabbed
two women outside a supermarket in the community of Beit Horon. Iran
is now seeking to financially reward such actions. (Photo by IDFblog)
Iran’s ambassador to Lebanon, Mohammad Fathali, has promised to pay families of Palestinian “martyrs” who die while attacking or murdering Israelis, an action that aids terrorism and has earned the rebuke of Israeli leadership.
According to Fathali, “martyrs of the intifada in occupied Jerusalem” have earned their families a paycheck of $7,000.
Iran will also give $30,000 “to every family whose home the occupation has demolished for the participation of one of its sons” in attacks on Israelis, a financial incentive for families to not turn in members who murder innocent civilians.
“The martyrs’ blood will release the entire Palestine, from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea,” he said, referring to terrorists who die trying to kill Israelis. (JPost)
“Continuing Iran’s support for the oppressed Palestinian people, Iran announces the provision of financial aid to families of Palestinian martyrs who were killed in the ‘Jerusalem intifada,’” Fathali said in Beirut. The money will be directed to families via the Palestinian branch of the Iranian-established Shahid (“Martyr”) Institution, launched in 1992.
The Israel Foreign Ministry described the announcement as “further proof of Iran’s deep involvement in support for anti-Israeli terrorism.” It also shows how Iran “encourages terror,” tweeted Ofir Gendelman, a spokesman for Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“After the agreement with world powers [on Iran’s nuclear program], Iran has allowed itself to continue as a major player in international terrorism,” the Foreign Ministry said. The lifting of sanctions on Iran via the P5+1 nuclear agreement has unlocked Iran’s access to about $100 billion. (Times of Israel)
The State of Israel quickly demolishes homes of terrorists as a direct consequence of their attacks against Israeli citizens. The Israel Supreme Court affirmed that “the ability to prevent future bloodshed requires us to harden our hearts and spare potential victims, more so than pitying the house occupants,” who are given notice to evacuate prior to demolition.
This past week, however, the state added an option: if families of terrorists turn in the murderers, they will block the scheduled home demolition. (Times of Israel)
As promised, newly appointed Israel Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit ruled to save the home of 28-year-old Islamic Jihad member Shadi Ahmad Matua, who shot and killed Rabbi Yaakov Litman, 40, and Netanel Litman, 18, while the Litman family was driving near the Otniel settlement in November.
After the double murder, Matua confessed his guilt to his father and brother Majidi. Both decided to turn Matua in to the Israel Security Agency, Shin Bet.
Mandelblit’s ruling to save the home now creates a precedent for how to respond to criminal actions renounced by terrorists’ relatives.
Two-thirds of the 170 Palestinian Arabs killed since the terror wave began were killed while attacking or murdering Israelis. The other third died after provoking clashes with Israeli peacekeepers and personnel in the Israel Defense Forces.
Iran's Supreme leader Ali Khamenei
Israel Buys Bulletproof Bus Fleet
The Merkavim Mars Defender bus "unique protective system enables the
bus to continue driving during an attack, and to escape from the attack
area," according to the Merkavim website.
“Destructive forces are at work in the city; threats and lies never leave its streets. … He rescues me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me.” (Psalm 55:11,18)
Israel is investing in public safety with a record-breaking order of 71 anti-explosive, bulletproof buses from Merkavim, the country’s lead bus manufacturer, after Hamas released a music video on February 7 calling martyrs to bomb buses.
The song, hosted by Hamas’ official station Al-Aqsa TV, enticed listeners to commit acts of violence by claiming that “to die as a martyr for al-Aqsa [the Temple Mount] gives the explosive device more force." The lyrics push for more bombings and explicitly call to target Israel’s buses, by stating, “The intifada [uprising] is not an intifada if the bus roof doesn’t fly off.”
The incitement video has been widely shared on social media, including YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.
The Israel Defense Ministry will finance the cost of the protection, since it is responsible for the safety of residents in Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem region, Gush Etzion, Hebron, and the Benjamin area, where terrorists have struck or are more likely to target.
Transportation companies that operate in these territories, including the Egged bus company, have requested the Merkavim Mars Defender buses in order to increase the frequency of buses on higher-risk roads.
“The low frequency of buses is one of the factors for extensive hitchhiking in the West Bank, which increases the risk of kidnappings,” writes Udi Etzion and Gad Lior for Ynet News. They write that Israel’s Transportation Minister Israel Katz began designating armored buses to transport students after the kidnapping and murder of Gil-ad Shaer, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrach in June 2014.
Merkavim has issued the Jewish state 400 armored buses in the past 20 years, including 150 Mars Defender models. The 71 new vehicles, each costing Israel NIS 1.5 million ($385,000), are the factory’s latest model, cost twice as much as standard buses, and will replace some other armored vehicles that have become obsolete. As a whole, the 71 new steel-plated buses will cost the state NIS 106 million ($27.2 million).
Merkavim worked with Israeli military to oversee the design of the buses, which are equipped with bulletproof glass effective against 7.62 mm caliber bullets (which are designed to pierce armor), grenades, and other explosives. The buses are built on a chassis made by Volvo (a 25% owner of Merkavim) with a double rear axle, which can bear the heavy armor that plates the roof, floor, and body of the bus that will protect up to 53 passengers.
The Palestinian terrorists that have targeted Israel since mid-September have taken the lives of more than 30 Israelis, as well as American, Eritrean, and Sudanese nationals. The attacks have indiscriminately targeted Israelis or Jews in Jerusalem and around Israel in the form of stabbings, shootings, fire-bombings, and pedestrian car rammings.
Gaza’s leader Ismail Haniyeh, of the Hamas party, stated in a Times of Israel report that “the intifada will continue and will become the greatest strategic turning point in the history of the Palestinian struggle.”
"Nothing will be able to stop this intifada. Not the occupying enemy [Israel] and not its security cooperation with the Palestinian Authority [run by self-promoted president Mahmoud Abbas]," Haniyeh said at a rally in Rafah, Gaza.
On August 18, 2011, a three-prong terrorist attack against Israeli citizens
began with terrorists opening fire on a public bus (Egged) bound for Eilat,
a popular vacation destination. Seven people were killed and about 40
Kenyan President Visits Israel
President Rivlin hosted the official welcome ceremony for Kenyan
President Kenyatta. (GPO photo by Mark Neiman)
“These I will bring to My holy mountain, and give them joy in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; for My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” (Isaiah 56:7)
In Kenya’s first presidential visit to Israel since 1994, the nation’s President Uhuru Kenyatta spent three days last week in Israel, meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin to discuss cooperation between the two countries.
That cooperation includes the fight against terrorism. Where Islamic groups Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Islamic State have set Israel as a target, Kenya has been vulnerable to the the al-Qaida al-Shabaab group dominant in east Africa. (JPost)
At Kenyatta’s official welcome ceremony, Rivlin said both nations are “founded on strong principles of democracy, strong principles of freedom of expression — principles of freedom of religious expression.”
“I think this brings us together in many ways,” Rivlin said.
Netanyahu suggested that Kenya and Israel would work together in “our common battle against militant Islamic terrorism.”
“Both our peoples have suffered casualties at the hands of these brutal terrorists. We have no illusions about them. They want to murder our people, and we know that this is a common battle that we share with you,” Netanyahu told Kenyatta. “I have to say that more and more African countries recognize what you recognize, that Israel is a unique partner against this extremism.” (Times of Israel)
Netanyahu and Kenyatta furthered their intentions by signing a joint bilateral committee and a related water-cooperation agreement.
The countries’ cooperation plans will also focus on advancements in education, technology, science, agriculture, fish farming, and the management of natural resources. (BIN)
Calling Kenyatta’s stay in Israel an “historic visit,” Netanyahu told him, “You are in many ways leading this direction; and I welcome that not merely in the context of our relationship with Kenya, but in our relationship with the countries of Africa.”
Kenyatta described the connection as a “strong partnership” and said he anticipated “deepening our cooperation in agriculture, in irrigation, in water management and the experiences that Israel itself has had as well as information technology where we in Kenya can learn a lot from your own particular experiences.”
Both Israel and Kenya "have fought for our independence and as such we value the issues of sovereignty, of independence and for the right to self-determination,” Kenyatta said in Israel.
Kenya and Israel already have cooperated in areas of trade and technology, humanitarian aid, and security.
“The cooperation between our countries since the time of our independence has been formidable, and we look forward that this particular trip will even strengthen those ties in the future,” Kenyatta said.
Kenya is esteemed in Israel for its assistance during the 1976 Entebbe hostage rescue in nearby Uganda. Kenyan President Jomo Kenyatta allowed Israeli Mossad agents to gather information prior to the operation and also allowed Israel’s air force to refuel in Kenya.
“This is something that has left a deep imprint on Israel. The people of Israel are grateful for that, and I’m personally grateful for that,” Netanyahu said.
The Entebbe Operation led to the death of the Israeli prime minister’s brother, Commander Yonatan Netanyahu. The prime minister announced this past week his first planned trip to Uganda since the fateful mission — to occur this summer along with a visit to Kenya. (BIN)
Netanyahu stated last week that the “remarkable” Israel-Kenya relationship has endured “over half a century.”
“We have since [the 1976 mission] developed a relationship in many areas,” he said, extending Israel’s willingness to assist the African continent “a great deal more” both against militant Islam and in commercial and industrial fields.
The 102 rescued hostages were flown to Israel via Nairobi, Kenya,
shortly after the raid. In the above photo they are welcomed at the Ben
7-Year-Old Israeli Uncovers Ancient Artifact
Ori Grinhot holds the statuette that he found. (Photo by Moriah Grinhot)
“Iron is taken from the earth, and copper is smelted from ore. Mortals put an end to the darkness; they search out the farthest recesses for ore in the blackest darkness.” (Job 28:2–3)
In Israel, expert archaeologists and children alike can unearth the Holy Land’s history. This past week, a 7-year-old discovered a 3,400-year-old artifact while a professional team uncovered millennia-old fabrics.
Ori (Uri) Grinhot, age 7, earned a certificate of appreciation for good citizenship from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) after sharing his find of a female figurine at the Tel Rehov archaeological mound this past week.
While walking with friends at Rehov, Ori “came across a stone that had shifted and suddenly saw an image of a person covered with soil. Ori rubbed away the mud that adhered to the object and thus discovered the clay figurine,” the IAA reported.
Tel Rehov expedition director, Amihai Mazar, noted that the figurine would have “belonged to one of the residents of the city of Rehov, which was then ruled by the central government of the Egyptian pharaohs.”
“Ori returned home with the impressive figurine and the excitement was great,” said his mother, Moriah Grinhot, to IAA. “We explained to him this is an ancient artifact and that archaeological finds belong to the State.”
Grinhot lives in the Tel Te’omim communal settlement in the Bet She’an Valley, a 1.5 km walk north from Rehov, which offers a rich archaeological footprint with an intermixed Israelite-Canaanite history that once numbered 2,000 residents.
Mazar, who is also professor emeritus at Hebrew University, said on the IAA website that the statuette “is typical of the Canaanite culture of the 15th–13th centuries BCE.”
“Some researchers think the figure depicted here is that of a real flesh and blood woman, and others view her as the fertility goddess Astarte, known from Canaanite sources and from the Bible,” Mazar told the IAA.
IAA officials presented Grinhot his award at Shaked Elementary School in Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu, at the time that Ori's teacher Esther Ledell was leading a Torah lesson.
“It was an amazing occasion! The archaeologists entered the class … just when we were learning about Rachel stealing her father’s household gods," Ledell told IAA. “I explained that the household gods were statues that were used in idol worship, and all of a sudden I realize that these very same idols are here in the classroom!”
In the past, archaeologists at Rehov have discovered 30 intact beehives from the mid-10th to early 9th century B.C. — the oldest known evidence of an ancient beekeeping industry — and proof for the timeline of the Kingdom of Israel, with Rehov’s city layers linked to Iron Age II, the Early Bronze Age, the Late Bronze Age, and Medieval Times.
Meanwhile, in the Arava Valley, about halfway between Eilat and Be’er Sheva, a team from Tel Aviv University announced this past Wednesday that they have found fabrics dating to King David’s rule over Israel.
TAU’s Dr. Erez Ben-Yosef led his team into the Timna copper mines where they discovered the 3,000-year-old textiles that demonstrate the weaving techniques and fabric design of the ancient inhabitants.
According to TAU affiliates, most of the fabric found at Timna was made of sheep’s wool, “a cloth that is seldom found in this ancient period.” Linen, a cloth that was not made locally, was also found.
Canaanite statuette (IAA photo by Clara Amit)
Pieces of fabric found at Solomon's mine show differences in color,
weaving, and ornamentation techniques. (IAA photo by Clara Amit